• Offered by Research School of Earth Sciences
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Earth and Marine Science
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences, Science, Earth Physics, Geology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Meghan Miller
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2021
    See Future Offerings

This course has been adjusted for remote participants however attendance at on-campus activities is preferable.

Geophysics is crucial in our understanding of Earth's history, structure and physical conditions. This course will provide a practical introduction to Global Geophysics with an emphasis on Earth's internal and surface processes. Global Geophysics will bring together the structure and dynamics of the Earth in terms of processes varying on scales from the microscopic to the whole planet. Topics will include; plate tectonic theory, earthquakes, seismic waves, heat transport, mantle convection, magnetic and gravity fields, deep Earth structure, geophysical data analysis, and deformation of the solid Earth.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Describe the broad-scale structure of the whole Earth.
  2. Explain a range of geophysical processes that act from the Earth’s deep interior to surface.
  3. Discuss how seismic waves travel through the Earth and compare how they are transmitted, reflected and refracted.
  4. Appraise the theory of plate tectonics and explain its foundation in geophysical observations.
  5. Explain the basic configurations of plate tectonic boundaries and their development through time.
  6. Analyse geophysical data to reconstruct large-scale geological processes.
  7. Communicate the ideas underlying geophysical processes in an effective and accessible way.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Three end of module practical assignments (60) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  2. Presentation of a poster at a student conference (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6,7]

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The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of 2 x 1 hour lectures plus 1 x 3 hour practical per week.
  • 1/2 day student conference
  • Approximately 60 hours of self-study which will include preparation for lectures, practicals and other assessment tasks.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed EMSC1008 and (MATH1003 or MATH1013)

Prescribed Texts


Preliminary Reading

Understanding Earth by Grotzinger and Jordan
The Solid Earth: An Introduction to Global Geophysics by Fowler
Fundamentals of Geophysics by Lowrie
Earthquakes: Science and Society by Brumbaugh

Assumed Knowledge

Knowledge of first year tertiary level Physics is recommended




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $4110
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $5880
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3373 22 Feb 2021 01 Mar 2021 31 Mar 2021 28 May 2021 In Person View

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